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Essence of Peru Detailed Tour Itinerary

 

Day 1 Lima Arrive in Lima at any time. A representative from Adventures to Peru will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.

Day 2 Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) An early morning flight takes us to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle. Travel by motorized canoe to our isolated lodge in the Tambopata Candamo Rainforest Area, which holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.

Listen for howler monkeys in the tropical forest canopy above and spot macaws perched high on the riverbanks. After we arrive at a small portage, we’ll hike through the jungle to our own Amazon Jungle lodge. The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (no hot water), and kerosene lamps for lighting (no electricity in bungalows). Local community members make up the majority the lodge staff, including multilingual Naturalist Guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.

After lunch, we’ll head out on a rainforest trail in search of macaws and other rainforest dwellers that come out in search of food in the late afternoon. Then, later that night, we’ll venture out on an Amazon night walk, probing the forest for the nocturnal creatures we normally hear but don’t see.

Day 3 Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) A pre-dawn departure will get us up and into the forest at the crack of dawn. Our local nature guide will show the way to one of the Oxbow lakes in the vicinity. This area is teeming with life – we’ll look for giant otters, capuchin monkeys, caiman, snakes, spiders and many other jungle animals on our boat trip and various hikes around the area. During our voyage you will have the chance to see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped Herons, Jabiru Storks, Roadside The area is renowned for its diverse plant and animal populations and include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot species – 10% of the world’s total), 200 mammal species including 4 species of primates, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants—all protected within the reserve. Some of the more famous residents are the Harpy Eagle, the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters who live in the area’s oxbow lakes. Additionally, we can see hawks and several species of kingfishers, swallows, and flycatchers.

Focus: Medicinal plants, endemic animals, indigenous tribes, hunting, deforestation, locally sponsored preservation projects.

Day 4 Cusco (B) Travel out of the jungle by motorized canoe before flying to Cusco, high in the Andes mountains. One free day in Cusco is never enough. That is why you’ll have two days to discover Cusco’s enchanting colonial network of narrow streets and white wash mud-brick walls, all built atop Incan stone foundations. A true amalgamation of cultures! This afternoon we’ll take you on a guided visit to see Cusco’s highlights, including nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and Q’enko. Followed by a visit to the main Cathedral and famous ‘Koricancha’ or Temple of the Sun.

Day 5 Cusco (B) Free day to explore the many markets, churches, museums, plazas and first-rate restaurants, all at your fingertips while exploring the city center on foot. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking. The day is yours!

 

Day 6 Ollantaytambo (B) One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Once an important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. As it is 600m lower than Cusco, temperatures are on average 5 degrees Cº higher in the Sacred Valley.

Our travels will bring us through the major archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. At Pisac, an optional two hour or 5km hike will allow us to fully appreciate the Incan city nestled high in the Andean range. Later, the colorful artesian market at Pisac will no doubt be a highlight for those in search of unique souvenirs.

The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, location of another large Inca site. This major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. But more than that, Ollantaytambo is a living breathing Inca City. Here we catch our breath and prepare for our train voyage to Machu Picchu.

Focus today: Inca stone working techniques, 3 Peruvian blessings: Coca leaf, Andean Maca, Potato

 

Day 7 Aguas Calientes (B) This morning we’ll make our way to the train station in Ollantaytambo and board the train to Aguas Calientes traveling northeast through the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrive at Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu village, check into your hotel and enjoy the atmosphere. Aguas Calientes is about 30 minutes from Machu Picchu, which you’ll visit tomorrow morning. Today you’ll have free time to soak in the hot springs, hike, shop and explore the village.

 

Day 8 Machu Picchu / Cusco (B) A pre-dawn start from takes us by local shuttle to Machu Picchu. Enjoy the ruins in virtual solitude for the first hour until sunrise. Make the hour-long hike up to the ‘Intipunku’ or Sun Gate. See Machu Picchu in all its glory and discover Machu Picchu on an expert 2-hour private guided tour. Then, free time at site to explore, rest, meditate or simply chill out in the ruins.

Climb Wayna Picchu (Young Peak 2 hrs, not included), hike to the Moon Temple (2 1/2 hrs), or venture to the Inca Draw Bridge! There is no shortage of things so see and do in Machu Picchu. Generally we’ll have lunch in Aguas Calientes although it is your choice, afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to your hotel in Cusco.

Focus: Machu Picchu practical explanations and theories

 

Day 9 Cusco (B) A second free day to really soak up Cusco’s ethnically brilliant atmosphere. Relax in the main ‘Plaza de Armas”, visit the artisans market or explore a little at the grandiose local farmers market. The day is yours!

 

Day 10 Puno (B) After breakfast our journey continues through the high plateau to Puno. Our full day overland journey through the majestic Andes will astound you. We’ll cover close to 400km (250 mi), go over mountain passes at 4,334m (14,222ft) above sea level, visit some of our favorite local indigenous villages and sample some of the best local roast lamb available. Approximate arrival in Puno is 5:00pm

Puno, a city of 150,000 inhabitants, is considered by local populations to be a linguistic, cultural and political border. To the south toward Bolivia the Aymara people and language are dominant. To the north, the better-known Quechua is the dominant tongue. Fortunately, you will see both.

 

Day 11 Amantani Island / Lake Titicaca (B,L,D) After breakfast, our local guide will take us to the floating reed island’s of the Uros (Aymara roots) and then on to Amantani Island(Qechua roots) by motor boat. The Uros people are a specific cultural group apart from the Incas. They are more sensitive and protective. We ask that visitors always proceed with respect. Please ask before snapping pictures, as some of the older generation will object

The locals are very friendly and produce souvenirs representing life on the Lake. You can support them by buying a souvenir if you choose.

After the Uros, we will take a step back in time as we arrive to Amantani. The island culture offers a glimpse into their ancient traditions and customs. A rural home stay will open your eyes to the true beauty of this place and the people that have inhabited the lake for thousands of years. All local food and beverages included.

Today’s focus: Andean views of life, death and marriage; Origins of The Sacred Lake

 

Day 12 Puno / Lake Titicaca (B) We’ll start with an early wake up call to enjoy a spectacular sunrise over Lake Titicaca before visiting the neighboring island of Taquile. Famous for textiles and weavings, Taquile is a cultural treasure chest. We’ll spend an hour hiking to the summit of Taquile Island before enjoying lunch overlooking the Lake Titicaca. Our lunch will include local favorites, trout or kingfish, before heading back to Puno.

 

Day 13 Lima (B) We have a short drive to the Juliaca airport before a flight to Lima. Finish up last minute shopping at the Indian market and enjoy one last evening in the capital.

 

Day 14 Depart Lima (B) Adios amigos! Adventures to Peru services end today. Adventures to Peru will reconfirm your outgoing international flight and transfer to the airport.

 

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